By Vafa Ismayilova
President Ilham Aliyev has said that the international community did not show political will to implement the UN Security Council resolutions that urge Armenia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts.
In his address to the nation on 20 October, the president said that the lack of political will and any mechanism was behind the failure.
“Unfortunately, international law does not work in international relations. If it did, four UN Security Council resolutions would have been implemented long ago. We waited for 20 years for these resolutions to be implemented. They simply remained on paper. Why? Because there was no political will, there was no mechanism for the implementation of these resolutions,” Aliyev said.
He reminded that throughout these years, Armenia continued to ignore the international law and the UN Security Council resolutions believe that they could avoid responsibility.
Sanctions against Armenia
The president questioned the lack of any international sanctions on Armenia in the past 30 years.
“Why has the international community not imposed sanctions on the aggressor state for 30 years? I have repeatedly said that sanctions should be imposed. This country, the leadership of this country does not want to leave these lands of its own free will. They deceive us, imitate a process of negotiations. They are not trustworthy, and I was right. Look at the fortifications they built there. Will a country that builds such fortifications, a country that spends so much money on them ever get out of there? If they wanted to leave, they would not have built them.”
Aliyev also touched upon series of lies the Armenian authorities are telling their people. He reminded that Armenia has denied firing ballistic missiles on Ganja that killed 13 civilians, the same way Armenians denied committing the Khojaly genocide in 1992 that killed 613 civilians.
The president stressed that it is easy to detect today the starting point and the trajectory of ballistic missiles.
Furthermore, Aliyev stressed that the basis for resolving the conflict is the inviolability of Azerbaijan’s borders, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“UN Security Council resolutions did not work. We have made great efforts, the UN General Assembly, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other organizations have adopted resolutions. The document we have initialed with the European Union also supports the inviolability of our borders, our sovereignty and the territorial integrity of our country. That is the basis for resolving this conflict... Armenian leadership, acting like a beggar... sends letters to all international organizations day and night, makes statements and asks why they remain silent. Why should they speak up? They have already adopted these resolutions and decisions, and Azerbaijan conducts military operations on its territory recognized by the international community.”
The president stressed that Armenia had illegally settled thousands of people in occupied Lachin and Kalbajar and had no plans to withdraw from the occupied lands.
“The negotiations did not yield any results for almost 30 years. The fortifications Armenia built in the occupied territories show that they did not intend to give up these lands. They simply deceived us and the international mediators. They were simply biding time, while at the same time conducting illegal settlement of the occupied territories. They settled thousands of people in the city of Lachin, thousands more in Kalbajar. They lived in our villages we have liberated today – in Fuzuli, Jabrayil and other districts,” Aliyev said.
Aliyev stressed that Armenia had failed to Armenianize Azerbaijani lands and break the people’s will.
“They thought that the Azerbaijani people would put up with this situation. They thought that these lands would be occupied forever. They changed the names of our cities, changed the borders of our districts, changed the names of our villages, wanted to Armenianize our lands but could not achieve this. They could not break the will of the Azerbaijani people.”
The president spoke about Armenia’s efforts to achieve the recognition of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh republic. He said that Azerbaijan will sever ties with any country aiming to recognize the so-called republic.
“Having carried out ethnic cleansing against the Azerbaijanis, having committed genocide against the Azerbaijanis and having expelled our citizens from their native lands, they held a “referendum”, which is completely contrary to human morality, laws and international law. No-one recognizes the so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh republic”. Now they are trying to get countries of the world to recognize the so-called criminal entity. They have lost their mind. They do not understand that no-one will do it. They do not understand that every country that does this can no longer be considered a friendly country for Azerbaijan. Not only that, we will cut all ties with such a country.
“They are trying to restore the status quo now. I have said there is no status quo. We have destroyed the status quo and we have done what is right. We have been waiting for about 30 years. Ten years ago, at the level of the Minsk Group co-chairs and their presidents, a statement was made that the status quo was unacceptable. We also supported it, we liked it, we had high hopes, and then some progress at the negotiating table raised our hopes. But the hated enemy simply deceived us and the international community. This is disrespect for international mediators.”
The president said that Azerbaijan is on the threshold of the Great Return to the liberated lands.
“When we built a mosque similar to the Shusha mosque in the village of Jojug Marjanly and opened it, I said that they may have destroyed the buildings of mosques but these mosques live in our hearts, and one day all our destroyed mosques will be restored, all our cities and villages will be restored. We are on the threshold of the Great Return, and the Azerbaijani state will do its best to ensure that citizens of Azerbaijan return to the occupied and liberated lands and live there in peace and tranquility. Life will be revived in these lands.”
The president furhter added: “The trust people placed in me allowed us the opportunity to resolve this issue. I declare again that I keep all the promises I make. I am true to all the promises I make. The main goal of my activity as president is the return of Azerbaijani lands, the restoration of territorial integrity, and we are doing it on the battlefield today.”
He stressed that Armenia wanted to stop Azerbaijan through its “cowardly” strikes on peaceful villages, districts and cities.
Attacks on civilians
Aliyev said that Azerbaijani cities and villages come under Armenian attacks every day.
“Tartar district is particularly exposed to cowardly fire. At the same time, the adversary fires on Aghdam, Goranboy, Aghjabadi, Barda, other cities and districts. As a result of the cowardly shelling of the city of Ganja, civilians were killed – children, women, the elderly. But it does not matter to the enemy. There is no difference for them. They are defeated on the battlefield, they are unable to stand in front of the Azerbaijani Army and commit crimes against the civilian population in front of the whole world in order to stop us and strike at us. The whole world sees what an ugly and savage enemy Azerbaijan is liberating its native lands from. For 30 years, they sat on our lands and tried to challenge us. For 30 years, they exploited our lands, exploited our natural resources. Theft and looting are their trademarks. Suffice it to look at the destroyed villages and cities to see what savages we are facing.”
The president said that Azerbaijan will continue to retaliate to Armenia on the battlefield but not target civilians as they do.
“We do not carry out any operations on the territory of Armenia – we have no such plans – even though they have bombed Ganja twice from the territory of Armenia. We did not respond to them in their fashion. We responded on the battlefield. I said that we would take revenge on them on the battlefield. We will not leave the blood of our martyrs unavenged. The main goal of our activity in international organizations was to improve and expand this legal framework, and we were able to achieve this.”
He stressed that Azerbaijan destroyed the myths about an “invincible Armenian army”.
“The Armenian leadership must think carefully. They are already on their knees. We have brought them to their knees. We have shown them the place they deserve. We will drive them out of our lands! We will drive them out! Good news comes in every day. Every day, our flag is raised in a new settlement. This is the strength of the Azerbaijani state, the Azerbaijani people. For 30 years, the Armenian leadership has been spreading myths about a “strong army”, myths about an “invincible Armenian army”. Where is this “invincible Armenian army?” Look at the way it runs away from us. It was all a myth, it was all a lie. We have exposed it.”
The president reiterated that the fighting could stop after Armenia’s withdrawal from the occupied lands.
“Our superiority on the battlefield is no longer a secret. We are on the right path. Ours is the cause of justice. We are fighting on our own land, giving martyrs and restoring our territorial integrity... Armenia must declare before it is too late that it is withdrawing from the occupied territories. After that the fighting may stop.”
At the end of his speech, President Aliyev declared that Zangilan District was liberated from the occupation. He made public the names of some vilages in Zangilan, Fuzuzli, Jabrayil and Khojavand, which were also liberated along with Zangilan. Moreover, he declared the list of the Armenian arms and military hardware destroyed by the Azerbaijani troops.
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